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Harmless [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bamim2 [read all by] on 9th January 2010
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows
8 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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Just when you think there's no reason to get another VST, then Harmless comes along. I must say, this is a VERY nice synth. It does what it does VERY well. It sounds great, looks great, it's easy to use & modify sounds & it's easy on the CPU too. It really is nice & well, Harmless...

It comes with (I should have probably counted them) about 100 presets (it's probably 128, but like I said, I didn't count them). The first thing to note is that just about every preset is very playable. There's everything from Electric piano type sounds to great swirling pads to REALLY nice bass & synth sounds.

This is where I need to add a little of my one opinion. Too many synths come with a million presets & most of the are just not useful. This VST comes with one bank of VERY playable sounds. They're also a great representation of what types of sounds the synth cam make.

I love this synth. I highly recommend it & if you can still get in on the introductory price of $9 US (yup, 9 bucks!), you really can't go wrong.

As for the numbers below, I didn't ever have use any documentation because the user interface is so straight forward. Same goes for customer support. It's supported by Image Line, but I didn't ever have to get support. I gave it the highest score just to keep on par with the rest of the scores.
Independence Free [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bamim2 [read all by] on 19th December 2007
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows
6 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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Independence 2 Free is quite possibly the best free software out there. I know. That's quite a claim, but I REALLY like this. First of all, IT'S FREE! Unlike other free software, this one is fully functional and very useable. AND it works on a Mac with OSX10.4 or above (yeah, 10.5 too!) and PCs with XP or Vista. It's fully downloadable and you can download the 2GB of free sounds too. You need to have a little time and/or bandwidth to get everything, but it's all there and easy to install and setup.

I downloaded and set this up on one of my PCs and my Mac right away. It's got a lot of great sounds for the free version. I can't wait to see and hear the one they charge for! That must be awesome. I've played the Piano and Electric Piano sounds and they're great. I've also played the synth sounds and they rock. They're full poly, very easy to modify the MIDI stuff like aftertouch & Volume & Patch change etc. It's got lots of built in effects too. You can save and load sounds. Of course, there is no import or export or that sort of thing. The Pro version has all of that AND 70GB (70??) of samples.

It's very simple to use & very easy to modify sounds and parameters. It's got great sounds. It's even got a standalone piece that can accept input from multiple keyboards. It can stack up layers and it's unbelievably light on the CPU and sound card. You've got save and load and full audio mixing.

It's not that glamerous to look at, but that's one of the reasons it's light on the CPU. The 2GB of samples that come with the free version give you plenty to work with and are quite enticing to buy the Basic or Pro version.

The only thing left to say here is that I'm done writing. It's time to play! Go to the Yellow Tools English or German web site (www.yellowtools.com) and check this out. Download the free version for Mac and/or PC. Get the 2GB of free sounds and get playing too!!

I never had to even check out the manual or call support. This software is very intuitive and works like it should work. It must have been desinged by players. You'll spend your time playing and not fiddling with stuff. Unless you like fiddling with stuff, then fiddle away...
Lounge Lizard Session [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bamim2 [read all by] on 6th August 2007
Version reviewed: 3.1 on Mac
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I got my LL Session by going to the German magazine Keys web site and ordering the magazine that has this as a cover item. The mag is from 2006, but as of 8/2007 it can still be ordered. I used an on line translator and figured out which magazine I needed and how to download it. Ordering the magazine with disc and postage to the US from Germany was still less than $25US! I had it in less than 1 week too. That's German Technology at work. Anyway you can get the $99 version for $25 AND you can upgrade from there to the full version (a $250 value) for another $150. So, for a total of about $175 you can get the full version Lounge Lizard. Should you so desire.

As for the LL Session product, I can't say enough about it. I use it every day. I use it on my Mac and PC. I use it as a VST, AU, DXI and stand alone. It's ROCK solid, never crashes and sounds great. This has 3 Rhodes pianos and 1 Wurlitzer piano. It's got a few nice simple effects, that sound great and add to the authenticity of the sound. You can get all those cool classic electric piano sounds. It's got a great feel. I play it with my Kurzweil SP76 keyboard and it feels like a Rhodes or Wurly. Only Better.

If you've ever really played any number of Rhodes or Wurlies you know that they're inconsistent in their feel and volume across the keyboard. There was always that one key that would resonate more than the others. Or if you would get the bottom end nice, the top and middle would just be mud. If you got the top and middle nice, the bottom would just be wimpy. This one is not that way at all. All of 4 of the piano sounds have a great bottom end (I play a lot keyboard bass) when I play hard on the bottom, but still have a nice clear sound when I play softer chords.

The middle and upper registers have a nice even feel and sound. If you get on it a bit, you get that old electric piano grit. I swear I can feel a string or a tone bar vibrate.

The 3 Rhodes sounds are all just enough different that they're each usable. The Wurly is a classic. It's SuperTramp revisited. I spend all my time going between the sounds saying, "No, I think I like this one the best".

I just love the feel of this. It's got that character and variety that electric pianos have without the mechanical problems of tuning and volume and timbre inconsistencies. I hate to say it, but just the Session version alone is about all the electric piano sounds most people will need. I don't know if I'll upgrade to the full version or not. I love this thing!!
Wusik Station [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bamim2 [read all by] on 25th September 2005
Version reviewed: 2.14 on Windows
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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I've own version 1 of Wusikstation and I upgraded to version 2 right away. I like version 1 and used it before version 2 came out. Version 2, with the Big Package is quite nice and a great price (hey, I'm a poet). There are plenty of presets that come with it, but it's very easy to either make your own or modify ones that are there to suit your own style.

I like to play synth bass with my left hand and something else with my right. Wusikstation lets me easily split the keyboard. It can split the keyboard into several regions if you like to do that sort of thing. It can assign waves and oscillators to any part of the keyboard and give you plenty of filter controls and even put them on any MIDI channel you want. They're all mixable through it's built in mixer. It can load wave files to use like an oscillator.

If I had to pick one thing about this VST that I like the most is it's sound quality and playability (I know that's 2 things, but they go together). It really has nice sound textures and timbre. It has several skins available, so you can modify its look to suit your mood. It does everything from simple to complex sounds, has great filters, nice EFX and a straight forward GUI.

I truly believe this VST is capable of making whatever kind of sounds you want to make with it. There are a great range of sounds that come with it, nicely laid out, and it's very easy on the CPU. I easily run 2 Wusikstations at a time and have plenty of CPU left over to actually do stuff in Sonar.